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New to pearls...what should I get for $1000

Staceyjan

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I want to do it right the first time and buy an excellent quality strand of pearls. I know I would like a classic necklace. I'm fair skinned w dirty blond hair. I am also a size 16 so I def do not want something too small. Also, where should I purchase them from. I don't mind going to NYC but online is easier.

Thank you for any suggestions!
 

seaurchin

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Here's one good bet. PP is trustworthy and huge. This is their top quality freshwater strand, and a good size, too. You can use their "chat" function and ask for email pics of a few strands to choose from (which we will be happy to weigh in on, if you want).

They can also help you match overtones (silver, rose, silver and rose, or cream) to your skin tone, or we can weigh in on that too, if you post a shot of your neck to ear area. I think generally, pinkish skin tone looks good with silver overtones and fair without pink skin tones looks good with rose overtones. And darker skin looks better with cream overtones, I think. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.. By taking photos, you can see which you actually are if you're not sure. Also, I think many people hedge their bets and get silver and rose overtones, if they're available.

There's a list of recommended vendors above, too. Let us see what you get!

http://www.pearlparadise.com/p-145-90-95-mm-white-freshadama-freshwater-pearl-necklace.aspx
 

seaurchin

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Here are some pearls of mine that are somewhere between 9-10mm. They're not white nor as high of quality as the freshadamas but just to show you an example of the size. The lavenders are about 17 inches, and the peach are about 18 inches. They're not huge but large enough that I don't think I'll ever feel are too tiny, either, as so often seems to happen when people get the standard 7-8 mm size. I think they're a good all-purpose size that could easily go from everyday to work to formal:

pearls7.jpg

purple4.jpg

img_2637.jpg
 

seaurchin

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I can't tell if you're cool or warm, either, but maybe someone else will weigh in. Maybe you could show those pics to whoever helps you and ask for their advice, or try to get both silver and rose overtones, or even order both and see which suits you the best. I think it's easier if you don't lean strongly either way- It probably means either way would be fine. Also, overtones aren't really that dramatic anyway, not like different color pearls. :)
 

Staceyjan

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Those are really pretty! I love the lavender ones! I think your size would also be a good size for me. Thank you for sharing and providing the visual, it is very helpful.

Is there a reason to chose freshwater over salt water?
 

Staceyjan

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seaurchin|1464062702|4035580 said:
I can't tell if you're cool or warm, either, but maybe someone else will weigh in. Maybe you could show those pics to whoever helps you and ask for their advice, or try to get both silver and rose overtones, or even order both and see which suits you the best. I think it's easier if you don't lean strongly either way- It probably means either way would be fine. Also, overtones aren't really that dramatic anyway, not like different color pearls. :)
Thanks again!
 

seaurchin

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Thanks, Stacey. I got the freshwaters for the value. Saltwater pearls cost more. Also, freshwaters are usually pure nacre whereas the akoyas (saltwaters) are a nacre coated shell bead, so may not hold up as well over time if you wear them a lot. Some of the ladies have worn their akoyas for years without the nacre wearing off but it's just something else to consider. The akoyas do have a sharper, mirror-like luster though. I guess it's just what you like. Me, I like "the deal, you know? :)

http://www.pearlparadise.com/p-43-90-95-mm-white-akoya-pearl-necklace.aspx
 

Staceyjan

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Very interesting and have a feel that this venture may turn interesting a slippery slope so I'm better off with the highest quality freshwater.
 

seaurchin

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I think they look like big baroque south sea pearls, which would cost much more. There are a few of those in real life on the recent "Mother's Day" thread.

Or, here are some white baby ripple freshwater pearls at Pearls of Joy. I have some like these in the 10-12mm size from PP. POJ also currently has some larger ones. I know, I'm bad lol.


http://www.pearlsofjoy.com/18-Baby-Ripple-Freshwater-Pearl-Necklace-10-12mm_p_863.html

white_ripples_1.jpg

white_ripples_2.jpg

white_ripple_neckshot_1.jpg
 

Staceyjan

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Wow, what a collection! After seeing the last ones on your neck, I know I want the 10-12 mm ones. I definitely them to stand out. Do you get earrings the same size or just try to match the color?
 

seaurchin

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Thanks! I like pearl earrings to be larger than the largest pearl in the strand. I just think it looks better and gets away from that matchy-matchy boxed set look when the earring pearls are the same size as the strand pearls. When the earring pearls are smaller than the strand pearls, I don't know, it just doesn't look good to me. However, I don't really care if the shades of white match between the strand and the earrings. It seems to me too much distance to really be noticed, and big pearl earrings can be expensive so it's also nice to be able to buy them at different times and not worry about a perfect match. Of course some people will feel differently about that. Here is my latest crime heh heh, a 10-11 mm freshwater strand (from Lei Family Jewelery-2 in China (on ebay). And 14-15mm south sea pearl earrings (from the Pearl Society, also on ebay) with the diamond wires from Pearl Paradise. If you can see from the pics, the freshwaters are more creamy colored and the south sea are more blue-ish but I don't care:


10_7.jpg

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2_240.jpg

1_65.jpg
 

seaurchin

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One way to save money on the earrings is to get drop shape. They tend to be cheaper than perfect rounds and are larger than they sound like because the mm size listed is usually the shortest side.

Oh, we should probably warn you that pearls seem to be very addicting. In fact you should probably run! :p
 

pearlsngems

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Your coloring seems to be like my daughter's, and she looks great in silver-rose tones in pearls.

With some of the larger freshwaters, there may be a bead inside. I believe this is true of the ripples. But I believe the nacre is very thick, much thicker than it is in akoyas. (Akoyas are cultured in saltwater in Japan where the water temperature is colder, resulting in a slower rate of deposition of nacre, with finer crystals that result in a sharper luster. Chinese freshwaters are cultured in warmer waters and nacre is laid down more quickly, hence the softer luster, usually.)
 

Pearlescence

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Picking up that you consider the baroque whites makes me wonder if you are more interested in size than in perfect roundness.
Do you want classic white and round or are you looking a bit outside that envelope? Because if you are there are many, many really unusual and unique pearls out there well within your budget.
 

NacreLover

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Here is a comparison shot with three of her other strands to show the size of these big pearls.

Tahitians 14.9 mm
Middle strand the Edisons 16.1 mm
White south sea 12.5 mm

_37294.jpg

_37295.jpg
 

Staceyjan

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Thanks everyone! Yes, after reading these posts and my responses, I want a big statement piece. But, I guess I shouldn't want to look like Eilma for my first strand...lol. I loved the lavender color but thinking not for my first. I also like how the earrings are bigger.

I will chwck out PP again...
 

Staceyjan

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NacreLover|1464102500|4035756 said:
Here is a comparison shot with three of her other strands to show the size of these big pearls.

Tahitians 14.9 mm
Middle strand the Edisons 16.1 mm
White south sea 12.5 mm
Thank you, I love the size of the 16.1 mm ones! It was definitely beneficial to see all three sizes together and How it looks on your neck.
 

NacreLover

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Just a thought. Before buying go to several jewelry stores and try on strands. Most women who buy Tahitians start out with 10mm as those are large compared to most akoya pearls grandma would have worn. Have the clerk tell you the Millimeter of the pearls, it should be on the tag or have them measure them. It's easier to buy when you know what size you really want. ( 10-11 are the size seaurchin has on a few post above.)
 

Kay

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I am fair skinned (with dark hair), and Tahitian pearls look so much better on me than white akoya or freshwater pearls. For $1000, I would buy a graduated strand of Tahitians (with the largest center pearls in the 11-13 mm range), with high luster and smooth surfaces. Oval or drop shapes look larger than round pearls of the same diameter and cost quite a bit less, too.

All of my Tahitian strands are from Pearl Paradise, and I think they extended their Mother's Day discount through the end of May. I would call and talk with them about what they have available because they usually have more strands than what are shown on the website.
 

cmd2014

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Staceyjan|1464056828|4035537 said:
I want to do it right the first time and buy an excellent quality strand of pearls. I know I would like a classic necklace. I'm fair skinned w dirty blond hair. I am also a size 16 so I def do not want something too small. Also, where should I purchase them from. I don't mind going to NYC but online is easier.

Thank you for any suggestions!
Based on what you originally said you were looking for, I wouldn't recommend the Wilma strand. I think you'd regret it.

If you want white pearls (i.e. a classic pearl necklace), with your budget you will be looking at being able to afford one of the following options: 1) smaller top quality akoyas, 2) larger, lower quality Akoyas, or 3) larger, high quality freshwaters.

The advantage of Akoya pearls is that they are classic, with sharp metallic luster, and they are perfectly round. There really is nothing quite like top quality Akoyas. But, you would likely be unhappy with smaller or lower quality pearls, so if you wanted Akoyas, you would probably want to think about increasing your budget (if possible). I have to admit that, based on personal experience, waiting and saving up enough to get top quality often means that you aren't upgrading again later. With your skin tone, I'd suggest silver or silver rose overtones.

The advantage of freshwater pearls is value for money. You can get much larger, high quality freshwater pearls for much less money. But the luster is softer and the pearls tend to be a creamier white, and they won't be quite as round as Akoyas (top quality freshwater pearls should still be round to the eye though, with good luster). I'd suggest silver overtones for you with these (as they tend to be a bit creamier in their body colour than Akoyas). With your budget you could get a beautiful freshwater strand in a nice big size.

I'd also +1 what Kay said. I'm very fair skinned, and I look best in either bright white pearls or Tahitians. I need the contrast. Creamy, peachy, and pastel colours just fade into my skin, so they either need to be *way* whiter than I am or quite dark.

ETA: you might also want to consider length. I'd suggest trying some strands on to see what looks best on you and what's going to work best with the necklines you typically wear. You can always contact the vendors to adjust to a custom length if you find you need something other than 18 inches (which is the standard length most vendors offer).
 

pearlsngems

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Here's another idea for a larger, high luster akoya strand that is well within your budget-- this 9.0-9.5mm baroque akoya strand from PP:

http://www.pearlparadise.com/p-5684-90-95-mm-white-akoya-baroque-pearl-necklace.aspx

I have these akoyas (in the 9.5-10.0 size that was offered earlier) and can tell you they are amazing! The nacre is thick and the luster is high. Although they are baroque, they are overall rather round in appearance. With your savings (using the discount code) you can buy earrings.

Here are mine:

baroque_akoyas_from_pp_outdoors_overcast_day.jpg
 

NacreLover

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Kay|1464130739|4035933 said:
I am fair skinned (with dark hair), and Tahitian pearls look so much better on me than white akoya or freshwater pearls. For $1000, I would buy a graduated strand of Tahitians (with the largest center pearls in the 11-13 mm range), with high luster and smooth surfaces. Oval or drop shapes look larger than round pearls of the same diameter and cost quite a bit less, too.

All of my Tahitian strands are from Pearl Paradise, and I think they extended their Mother's Day discount through the end of May. I would call and talk with them about what they have available because they usually have more strands than what are shown on the website.

I agree with you Kay. I am a blue eyed blonde and my hair naturally is close to the OP's. I prefer Tahitian pearls to white and wear them more often than any other in my collection.
 

Staceyjan

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Thank you! With all of your suggestions, I think graduated white w silver undertones will be my choice. Now just to finalize the length, maybe 18 in?
 

Staceyjan

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Those are beautiful and have a great luster! maybe I will order these and a graduated strand. Then, decide once I receive them. Also, love having extra $ for earrings, too.
 

cmd2014

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Stacyjan: Come back and show us what you end up getting! New pearls are always so exciting!

Pearlsngems: I love your baroque akoya strand! Wow! Look at that luster and the overtones!!! Just gorgeous!

Nacrelover: Wow, I always enjoy 4RG's collection so much. I love her WSS strand.

Now I'm going to have to go look at my own collection to convince myself that I do not *need* more pearls.
 
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